Organized by Masorti AmLat, the seventh gathering of Masorti/Conservative communities in Latin America, Shituf 2023, brought together leaders from Masorti AmLat-affiliated communities in 14 countries and took place at Centro Israelita Portoalegrense in Porto Alegre city, Brazil, from June 22nd to 25th.
More than 110 participants, including community presidents, rabbis, cantors, youth directors, community directors, professionals and members of community boards, shared experiences and learned together about the growth and strengthening of Latin American Masorti/Conservative communities, Masorti Jewish identity, and the connection to Eretz Israel on its 75th anniversary in workshops, lectures, discussions, and religious and cultural activities. President of Masorti Olami Rabbi Philip Scheim and Israeli Ambassador to Brazil Daniel Zohar Zonshine participated in the event as special guests.
President of Masorti Olami Rabbi Phil Scheim shared: “Experiencing Shituf enables one to realize the impact of Masorti Judaism in parts of the world unfamiliar to many of us. Differences in language and regional culture matter little when a commitment to meaningful, tolerant Jewish tradition brings us together. We learn quickly that communities spread over a wide geographical span share common concerns and an optimism that nothing need deter us from building a stronger, vibrant, resilient future together”.
Ariela Rosemberg-Garbatzky, Head of Masorti AmLat Desk, shared: “‘Shituf’, which means cooperation in Hebrew, truly reflects the importance of working together to achieve our goals. It's a collaborative approach that values diverse opinions, ideas, and perspectives, aiming to generate consensus through dialogue and collective reflection to continue building the present and future of the Masorti Movement in Latin America”.
Rabbi Mauricio Balter, Masorti and MERCAZ Olami Executive Director, says: “Shituf is an energizing experience. The synergy produced by the meeting of the leaders of our communities in Latin America is an inspiration for leaders and managers who work to strengthen the Masorti presence in each of the countries in the area”.
Sharing four days of spirituality, learning, debate, and exchange was the main objective of this year's event, which overarching theme was the 75th anniversary of the State of Israel, under the slogan "Yesterday a dream, today a commitment" (quote by Shimon Peres during the Oslo Accords).
The famous quote was linked with the current context of Masorti community Judaism in Latin America, and the participants were asked to ask themselves: "What are our dreams as a movement, leaders, and communities, and what are we doing to turn them into commitments? What are our existing commitments, and what should we do to uphold them and achieve new dreams?"
As a constant reminder of how it should be part of community leaders' commitments, environmental care was a central component of the event, as was the role that young people can play in this issue in community life.
"The seminar was a fantastic opportunity to see the diversity, human richness and incredible energy in Latin America's various branches. I was especially happy to see the generosity, the valency and the friendship that stood out there. With these foundations, the sky is the limit", shared Ofir Itah Senderey, Director of NOAM Olami and Masorti Olami Projects Coordinator.
↑ Click on the You Tube logo to watch with subtitles in Spanish or Portuguese.
Tehila Reuben, Masorti and MERCAZ Olami Deputy Director, says after participating in Shituf 2023 she understands why it is so crucial to visit the region to fully appreciate and grasp their incredible work, strength, and success. “I have tremendous gratitude towards the welcoming Masorti community in Porto Alegre and their entire lay-led and professional team, as well as our incredible Masorti AmLat and Olami staff and Lay Leaders for the endless hours they put in to make Shituf such an impactful and unique experience on both a personal and professional level.”
Masorti AmLat, the umbrella body of Masorti Olami throughout the Latin American continent, contains 87 congregations in eleven Latin American countries from Mexico to Argentina as well as NOAM and Marom chapters. Established in 2007, it focuses on development of and coordination between affiliated communities across our most prominent region. Visit their website to learn more.
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We are Masorti Olami, the official International Movement of Masorti/Conservative Judaism, based in Jerusalem, Israel.